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When Shaq Takes Off His Shoes, He Shows Polish

In case you’re not aware of what Shaquille O’Neal wears under his size 23 basketball shoes, it’s sparkling black toe nail polish.

The injured Laker displays his painted toes during a television appearance on “American Journal” tonight at 7:30 on Channel 9.

Shaq, promoting his career as a rap singer, was persuaded by interviewer Kit Hoover to take off his shoes and socks, revealing the painted toes.

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Trivia time: What was significant about the UCLA-Duke basketball game in 1964?

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Casual wear: Terry Francona, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, made all the players sign a form acknowledging they had read and would follow the team’s dress code when on the road.

“I’m not a baby sitter,” he said. “You set a dress code because players have a tendency to dress down instead of dressing up. You can’t have people showing up like [former Red Sox pitcher] Bill Lee, who showed up once in fatigues.”

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Top-secret status: Before Michael Jordan personally took apart the Washington Bullets Friday night in Landover, Md., he was in the Chicago Bulls’ dressing room when an attendant handed him a stack of white hats and a pen to sign his name.

“What are these for?” Jordan asked.

“Secret service,” came the reply.

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There, there: Syracuse guard Jason Cipolla, about the possibility of going to the NIT instead of the NCAA tournament:

“It would probably be the most depressing thing I’ve ever been through in my life.”

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Heavenly height: Australia’s Emma George recently improved her women’s world pole vault record to 14 feet 11 inches. That height was the men’s world record in 1937, achieved by USC’s Bill Sefton and Earle Meadows at the Coliseum. They were known then as the “Heavenly Twins.”

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Fridge for sale: William “The Refrigerator” Perry wants to return to the NFL and guess who he wants to play for? Why, Mike Ditka, his former Chicago Bear coach, who is now coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Perry, 34, played for the London Monarchs last year in the World Football League.

“Football is still in me,” Perry said.

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Looking back: On this day in 1980, the United States hockey team won the gold medal with a 4-2 victory over Finland in the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, N.Y.

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Trivia answer: It was the NCAA championship game, which UCLA won, 98-83, in Kansas City, Mo., to complete a 30-0 season.

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And finally: Portland Trail Blazer Coach P.J. Carlesimo on being asked whether Utah’s John Stockton has lost a step:

“People who are saying that are people with low basketball IQs. I mean no disrespect, but I’m talking about media people. I’m not saying they’re not intelligent, but they don’t have high basketball IQ’s.”

We didn’t realize basketball was that complicated.


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